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Sci Rep. 2012;2:867. doi: 10.1038/srep00867. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

DNA Nanostructure-based Interfacial engineering for PCR-free ultrasensitive electrochemical analysis of microRNA.

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Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics , Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China.

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  • Sci Rep. 2013;3:1508.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified as promising cancer biomarkers due to their stable presence in serum. As an alternative to PCR-based homogenous assays, surface-based electrochemical biosensors offer great opportunities for low-cost, point-of-care tests (POCTs) of disease-associated miRNAs. Nevertheless, the sensitivity of miRNA sensors is often limited by mass transport and crowding effects at the water-electrode interface. To address such challenges, we herein report a DNA nanostructure-based interfacial engineering approach to enhance binding recognition at the gold electrode surface and drastically improve the detection sensitivity. By employing this novel strategy, we can directly detect as few as attomolar (<1, 000 copies) miRNAs with high single-base discrimination ability. Given that this ultrasensitive electrochemical miRNA sensor (EMRS) is highly reproducible and essentially free of prior target labeling and PCR amplification, we also demonstrate its application by analyzing miRNA expression levels in clinical samples from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients.

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